The Killing of a Sacred Deer

November 21, 2017 | Posted by Lesley Jakobsen | Drama Film, FILM, THUMBNAIL REVIEWS |
KillingBed

Directed by Yorgos Lanthimos (2017) You have probably already worked out that the title, The Killing of a Sacred Deer, refers to the punishment meted out by Artemis to Agamemnon for his killing of one of her deer – he was doomed to sacrifice his daughter, Iphigenia. Now, I hear you say, isn’t that also a punishment of Iphegenia’s mother, her siblings and oh, I don’t know, Iphigenia? Of course Iphegenia is later avenged and the whole House of Atreus thing kicks off, but I digress…The point is that cardiologist Steven Murphy (Colin Farrell), the Agamemnon of this tale and his family, are being punished for something…

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Veronica, by Nicholas Christopher

Waverly Place, Manhattan.  (Image by Beyond My Ken)

Waverly Place, Manhattan. (Image by Beyond My Ken)

The cover of Nicholas Christopher’s A Trip to the Stars bears the fiat, “A novel by the author of Veronica“, as if that were an enticement. Had I read Veronica first, I would not have read A Trip to the Stars, which is a literary proof of the fact that fate is fickle. Veronica commences thus – “In lower Manhattan there is an improbable point where Waverly Place intersects Waverly Place.  It was there I met Veronica, on a snowy, windy night. She was looking for her keys on the sidewalk in front of a brownstone beside the Convent of…

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Manolo: The Boy Who Made Shoes for Lizards

October 30, 2017 | Posted by Lesley Jakobsen | Documentary, FILM, THUMBNAIL REVIEWS |
Manolo

(Directed by Michael Roberts) (2017) Do you know the name of that adorable green shoe in the poster for this film?  Do you know where its creator Manolo Blahnik finds inspiration?  Or what sort of outfits he anticipates his shoes will be styled with?  Or why they are as comfortable (relatively speaking, of course) as they are?  Or which are his most popular designs and why?  Nor do we, and this film did nothing to enlighten us. We at TVC (one of whom is an adorer of the great man) went to see this film expecting to learn something about the issues raised above and to…

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Taming Toxic People (by David Gillespie)

Psycho!
(Image by Suma Iyer)

Psycho! (Image by Suma Iyer)

(The science of identifying & dealing with psychopaths at work & at home) (2017) David Gillespie is neither a dietician, nor a psychiatrist.  And yet he warns us against sugar* and against psychopaths, the latter being the slightly less dangerous of the two, it seems. Gillespie points out that the term “psychopath”  is not defined in DSM, (the book of psychiatric diagnoses), “Antisocial Personality Disorder”  being the closest thing to it, a term which makes one think of Banksy, rather than Ivan Milat.  But Gillespie likes the word ‘psychopath’ – it’s colourful and it’s useful shorthand for “Someone Like Ted Bundy or Idi Amin But Not Necessarily a Murderer”. A psychopath, Gillespie says,…

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The Dressmaker

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(Directed by Jocelyn Moorhouse) (2015) What Australian film with an eccentric and not entirely lovable female lead goes from grim merriment undercut by angst, to misery heightened by ruthless self-regard and then back again?  If you said Muriel’s Wedding, you’d be right. If you said The Dressmaker you’d also be right. The Dressmaker takes us from a jolly football game and a dance, to adultery, tendon-cutting, drowning, stroke and arson. It begins with Myrtle “Tilly” Dunnage (Kate Winslet) returning to the town from which she was ostracised, 25 years before, having been suspected of murdering a school-mate. This being a Australian…

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